Most undesired behavior you see from your child doesn’t come from thin air. There is an unmet need or an unlearned skill that is at the root of the issue.
If you have an ungrateful daughter, you need to look for the source of the problem to address it.
For the record, you can’t spoil your kids with too much love. However, if you never let your child want for anything, you could end up spoiling them with other things.
Providing for your child’s needs is expected, but it’s important to know the difference between a need and a want. You should also teach this difference to your child.
If you constantly buy your child everything they want the minute they want it, you can easily end up with a kid who does not show gratitude because they are spoiled and believe everything they receive is deserved.
2. Has Never Had To Work for Anything
It’s okay to ask kids to work for things they want. In fact, it’s a good idea for kids to learn to work because it’s the right thing to do.
Doing chores, helping those in need, and performing basic tasks to help everyone in the home should be activities your child partakes in so they learn to be responsible.
It’s also a good idea to have your child work for things they want. Make sure to teach your child how to save money on their own to purchase a desired item.
The impact of putting in the work will help them be more grateful when other people give them items.
3. Feels Entitled
You might not have set out to raise an entitled child, but it’s actually easy to do.
If you don’t give your child enough responsibilities or if you don’t let them fail, they will come to expect everything to be done for them. This leads to entitlement.
Even if your intentions are good, know that always smoothing the path for your child or stepping in the second she struggles is not helping in the long run. It’s teaching your child to be helpless, entitled, and ungrateful.
4. Too Self-Involved
Empathy is a major factor when it comes to emotional intelligence and gratitude. Kids who have not been taught to try to understand other people’s situations can end up ungrateful because they are only thinking of themselves.
When a child gets too self-involved, it’s common for them to feel owed good things. It’s also likely they will feel like things are unfair if they have to experience the slightest inconvenience.
Talk to your child about how to look at things from someone else’s point of view, and try to get them involved in activities that center the focus off of them.
5. Has Never Endured Hardship
It’s normal to want to shield your child from hardship. No one likes to watch their child suffer. However, if you keep your child from experiencing anything negative, expect them to be ungrateful.
When the road is smooth all the time, they don’t know how to deal with the tiniest bumps, and they don’t know how to be grateful for what they have.
For better or worse, a little bit of adversity can build resilience and make kids grateful for what they have.
Don’t make everything as easy as possible for your children. Instead, teach them how to navigate the harder parts of life and find ways to be grateful regardless.
6. Was Never Taught True Gratitude
Kids are honest, sometimes brutally honest. If a child does not like something, they are going to tell you and everyone around them. That’s why it’s important to teach your child how to show true gratitude.
You don’t have to ask your child to be fake, but you can help them figure out how to be grateful and express that to others.
If they get a present they don’t like, they can still be grateful that someone thought of them and got them something. Teach your child how to do this, and model the behavior in your own life.
7. Often Forced To Offer False Gratitude
Sincere gratitude is not something that has to be coerced. If your kids see you demand gratitude or offer it when made to feel guilty, they are going to learn how to offer false gratitude only.
This is difficult and exhausting, so your child may just stop showing gratitude at all.
Model for your child that gratitude comes from a sincere desire to thank someone and show appreciation.
Don’t try to guilt your kids into being thankful, and don’t offer false gratitude to other people in your life. Your kids will learn from you.
8. Feels No Gratitude for Expected Gifts
When your child expects gifts, research shows it’s actually harder for them to be impacted by them. This means they may not show the gratitude you expect, even if it’s a gift they truly love.
Surprise your child with a gift out of the blue, and see if the reaction is more grateful. This helps reduce the exchange relationship situation that causes kids to be less thankful for gifts they expect.
9. Lack of Humility
Teaching your child to be humble doesn’t mean teaching them that they aren’t good enough. It just means teaching them that they aren’t better than anybody else.
Kids who know this are able to be more grateful and understanding of those around them.
If a child lacks humility, they are going to see gratitude as beneath them. Raise your kids to honor and value others as well as themselves.
10. No Impactful Role Models Who Demonstrate Gratitude Properly
Your child’s role models can include a variety of influences, and your child will mimic the behavior they see. If the role models in their life don’t show gratitude, your child probably won’t either.
Fortunately, parents can have a major impact on their child’s behavior, so modeling gratitude at home can help your child learn how to do it.
11. Wants To Be Independent
Many kids equate independence with not needing or wanting anything from anyone. This can result in them acting like they don’t care when someone tries to help or do something kind for them.
What they think is independent behavior is actually ungratefulness.
Teach your child that being independent does not mean being ungrateful and that we all depend on other people in life. This doesn’t make them less independent.
12. Modeling Behavior of Peers
Peer pressure is a big deal. If your daughter is hanging around friends who make being ungrateful seem cool, you can expect to see your child mimic that behavior.
Even if your child is genuinely grateful for their circumstances, they may not feel free to express this if everyone around them is complaining.
Talk to your kids about who they are hanging out with and how to stand up on their own when necessary.
13. Lack of Life Experience
You often don’t know how good you have it until your situation changes, and this is especially true for kids and teens. Their lack of life experiences can make them ungrateful because they don’t realize how well things are truly going for them.
You can offer your child some life experiences that are safe and give them a different perspective.
Ask your child to volunteer so they can meet people from outside of their everyday life. Let them lose when appropriate and learn how to handle that stress with you by their side offering support.
14. Problems With Home Life
A child’s home is supposed to be a strong foundation where they can always land safely. If there is turmoil in the home, it will likely be reflected in your child’s behavior.
You may see displays of ungratefulness as they wrestle with feeling insecure about their home life.
The displays of ungratefulness may also come from wanting attention and not knowing how to get it. If your home life is in chaos right now, make sure to sit down with your child and give them space to express what they are going through.
15. Doesn’t Feel Accepted or Loved
Your child may not feel like they have anything to feel grateful for if they don’t feel accepted for who they are. A lack of connection and love can make a child angry, and this anger can present as ungratefulness.
Make sure your child knows they are loved just as they are, and express that often.
Don’t wait for a child to be on their best behavior to tell them you love them. When a child is acting out, that’s usually when they need the most support.
If your daughter seems ungrateful, don’t assume there’s nothing you can do.
Once you figure out where the ungratefulness is coming from, you can help your child develop the necessary skills they need to show gratitude.
Kristy is the mother of four, including identical twins. With a background in education and research, she is constantly learning more about parenting and raising multiples. When she has spare time, she enjoys hiking into the woods with a great book to take a break.